Ritual with Ayahuasca (Nixi Pae) [1]

With the indigenous people Huni Kuin [2] in their remote village in the far northwest of Brazil, deep in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.  Anxious to immerse myself in the mysterious spirituality of this people a ritual with the sacred herbal medicine Ayahuasca was awaiting me.

The upcoming ritual with Ayahuasca (Nixi Pae) was getting closer. Lying in the hammock, I spent the time until around 10 p.m it finally was about to begin. Being aware of how strong the medicines were functioning here, I decided to drink only half a glass tonight.

            A total of ten people gathered for the ritual in one of the newly completed malocas [3]. Here we sat together in a tight circle. The sacred medicines were set up in the middle of our circle. There was also a fire burning outside next to the maloca. Secretly I asked myself how I should deal with the energies here in the narrowness.

            The ritual was opened. Siã had dressed up accordingly and wore an impressive headdress. He made a speech. Then he asked me to come to him to receive the ayahuasca medicine.

            "I think half a glass is enough for me today", I said to him whereupon he only looked at me with a certain glance and replied:

            "The first glass will be a full glass for everyone in the group."

I realized that it was useless to argue and reluctantly drank the full glass.

            I went back to my seat in the group. Now the other people were gradually pouring the medicine. I felt uncomfortable in the tight circle of people. And suddenly it happened very quickly. The effect of the medicine became very strong. At that moment I was a little angry with Siã and thought to myself: "I'm just too sensitive to all these energies, I won't get through it." Then I felt sick.

            I crawled out of the maloca and crouched on the ground near the fire. A strong force ran through my body, and I vomited several times. I felt miserable. Already arrived on the energetic level, everything was too much for me. But I had to get through this night somehow.

            One of the villagers offered me a glass of water. I tried to take a sip but spat it out immediately. In my condition, it was impossible for me to absorb water energetically. My whole body was trembling, and I felt weak. Seeking some relief from the heavy energies of the men sitting by the fire, I walked over to the other side of the village square. Here I sat down on a bench. A dog ran past me, looked at me, and quickly ran off.

 

Entering the Spiritual World – Everything is interconnected

I had entered the spiritual world completely with my eyes open. I didn't even have to close my eyes for that anymore. Sometimes I no longer knew where I was, what was spiritual or material form. A strong force had taken possession of my body. It was terrifying and fascinating at the same time.

            I was sitting about 20 meters away from the maloca where the others had started making music and singing. But at the same time, I was still with them. The distance was completely dissolved. Everything was now in a higher spiritual, energetic space. While I sat on the other side of the square, their spirits were with me and supported me. I could see them with my eyes open. The two worlds had become one, there was no longer any separation between them.

            I looked across the village square. A person stood there in the middle of the square and stretched a beautiful net of energetic red threads over the village that connected us all. A web of beautiful red threads of energy was spun and connected us all. It was fascinating. I looked over at the person one more time, but he was gone. I hadn't seen this person in the material world, but in the spiritual. It was a spirit that I had seen. The spiritual reality of my inner eye had overlaid the material reality of my two conventional eyes.

            At that moment I said to this power, which had continued to take hold of me and which the Huni Kuin refer to as “Yuxibu” (the power of the “Great Spirit” / “God”), that I understood. At that moment I understood everything, my task here in the village and in my life. I realized that this was exactly one of the reasons I came here. I came here to experience and see exactly this. Everything made a higher sense. All the threads of my life were spun into a meaningful larger whole.

            We were all interconnected and even if the people in the village had little time, I was never alone here. This was once again made very clear to me at that moment: I had not come to the forest and this village so that someone would “take care” of me, I had come here to learn directly from the spirits, the spirits of nature, the "Great Spirit". It was you who called me here.

            The music and the power of the healing songs continued to work energetically in me and supported the cleansing power of the medicine. I spat saliva, blew my nose, and peed.

            Suddenly I felt an energetic change and was startled. Bunke approached in her physical form. It was her energy that I had felt. She took something out of her house and then left again.

 

Yuxibu or the Power of the Great Spirit

I sat up and stretched my neck and head up in the air as far as I could. I had to control my thoughts because here on the highest energetic level they had a lot of power. Here was the level of “Yuxibu”, the level of the “Great Spirit”, the universe, the level of God. At this level of consciousness, one has all the power, here the thoughts change reality. How fascinating and beautiful. All worries that plagued me every day lost their meaning here. Everything is controlled from this higher energetic level. I can fully trust that everything is and will be as it should be. This highest energetic level, the level of the "Great Spirit" is also the place where you can learn everything. It is here in this place that the songs of healing are received.

            It was then that I realized the importance of diet. The sacred baptismal ritual that I went through three days ago and the strict diet that I have been following since then had once again strengthened my access to this other world. The energies of the forest also took this experience to a completely different level.

            Time seemed to have stopped and minutes turned into hours. Still very weak from this strong force, my whole body continued to shake. Then I vomited violently again. Crouching above the earth, I became one with its strong and healing energy. The earth pulled me in.

            Again and again, I had to control myself not to drift into the fear of going crazy. While I was cleansing myself, the voice of the "Great Spirit" spoke soothingly through me, but it was also my own voice: "Don't be afraid."

            I closed my eyes and connected with the energies of the forest and the energy of the Samaúma tree [4]. The forest is the mouthpiece of the “Great Spirit”, the universe. All secrets are hidden here, all knowledge is hidden here.

            After a while, I began to feel able to go back to the others. I gathered up my used handkerchiefs and toilet paper and walked back across the square to the maloca. I had to orient myself because at times I still lost my sense of where I was.

            I hesitated to go into the maloca and sat on the ground a few meters away. From here I watched the men who were still gathered around the fire. Still under the power of the medicine, at times their material bodies became blurred, and their spiritual/energetic forms formed my perceptible reality. Their energies drew through my body like heavy currents.

            While I was sitting there listening to the music, Siã turned around to me and smiled at me. I felt the urge to go to him. We looked deep into each other's eyes for a moment, and I just said: "Thank you."

            "You're never alone", he replied, and I understood.

            The effects of the medicine continued to decline. Now I had the courage to climb the little ladder up into the maloca and go back to the others in the group. The singing and music continued. Siã offered everyone another glass of ayahuasca, but no one accepted. As I learned from conversations with the other villagers the next day, the ritual had been very strong for everyone.

            Maria sat next to me and played the drum. We smiled at each other. Now I was relaxed and joined in the singing. I felt very lucky to have this wonderful experience tonight and to feel the spirituality of the Huin Kuin people up close. It has been one of the most beautiful and intense experiences in my life so far.

            Around four a.m., I said goodbye to the group. I was tired. Outside the maloca, the men by the fire saw that I wanted to make my way to my accommodation. They came to me, and we hugged goodbye.

"The 'Great Spirit' will accompany you on your way" they said to me. I nodded knowing they were right.

 

 

[1] Aayahuasca (referred to as "Nixi Pae" by the Huni Kuin) is a sacramental drink that is made by jointly boiling the following two plants native to the Amazon rainforest: The grape variety with the name „Banisteriopsis caapi“ and the leaves of the coffee plant called „Psychotira viridis“ (Chacrona).

 

[2] The Huni Kuin people are one of the most present indigenous peoples in Brazil. It lives on the border with Peru in the lower reaches of the Jordão River, in Acre, Brazil. The term "Huni Kuin" (Kaxinawá) means something like "homens verdadeiros" or "gente com costumes conhecidos" which means "real people" or "people with known customs" in translation. More detailed information about the Huni Kuin people can be found under the following link (in Portuguese): 

https://pib.socioambiental.org/pt/Povo:Huni_Kuin_(Kaxinawá)

 

[3] Malocas are the traditional houses with thatched roofs of the indigenous peoples
 

[4] The Samaúma tree grows between 60 and 70 meters tall. However, some specimens can reach a height of up to 90 meters, making it one of the largest trees in the world. The Samaúma tree is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America, and West Africa. The word samaúma is used to describe the cotton fibers that are obtained from their fruits. This tree can draw water from the depths of the soil and not only supply itself, but also share it with other species, as its roots known as Sapopemba burst at certain times of the year and irrigate the entire surrounding plant kingdom. It is therefore also called the "tree of life". See: https://www.iguiecologia.com/samauma/ and https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafumeira